Be in the moment when on the road

Be in the moment when on the road An open letter to people who share our streets in the Yukon, particularly Whitehorse: I am a professional commercial driver in Whitehorse and am constantly shocked, frustrated and disturbed by the lack of attention peopl

An open letter to people who share our streets in the Yukon, particularly Whitehorse:

I am a professional commercial driver in Whitehorse and am constantly shocked, frustrated and disturbed by the lack of attention people are showing while driving in town.

I request anyone operating a motor vehicle have the courtesy, common sense and respect for others to pay attention to what is going on around you. Right here and now is the single-most important time throughout all our lives and it could, and does, cost lives when people ignore that fact while driving. Maybe the motor vehicles branch should make a defensive driving course a requirement for obtaining a driver’s licence.

For those of you who care to make our roads and fellow travellers safer and less stressed out, I would offer a few suggestions.

Pass them on if you agree.

Â¥ Do you drive Fourth Avenue or Lewes Boulevard and Second Avenue in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Try looking further ahead than the bumper in front of you. Notice the people trying to enter or cross the road or turn left and the light ahead about to turn red, and stop. Let them in or by. You’ll make a lot of people happy by paying attention and not blocking them. All traffic will flow more smoothly with courtesy gaps.

Â¥ Do you drive into town from north or south in heavy traffic? Is there a clear road in front of you? Try looking in your rearview mirror. If there are more than a few cars tailgating in a row, speed up to at least the speed limit in good conditions. If you are incapable of doing that, pull over and let them go by. If neither of these work for you, we have an excellent transit system. Take the bus or carpool.

Â¥ If you are going to make a turn, signal far enough in advance to let people ahead and behind you know in plenty of time.

Â¥ I thoroughly inspect my vehicle at work every day to ensure all lights are working and brakes, tires and steering are in good working order. When was the last time you walked around your vehicle to check that all your lights and stuff worked?

If you are one of the drivers that these suggestions are aimed at, then you should know that you can be ticketed for following too closely, obstructing traffic, failing to signal a turn or lane change, having faulty lights or an otherwise unsafe vehicle.

So, while I merely request you take my suggestions, the Motor Vehicle Act demands you act accordingly and give due care and attention while operating a motor vehicle Ð or you may well lose the privilege to do so.

I’m a believer that if everybody pays attention to what they are doing, while they are doing it, they will do it much better.

Meanwhile, bikers, pedestrians and tourists are not immune to the need to pay attention. Try it and I’m sure you, too, will find ways to help make your biking, walking and sightseeing less disruptive to the flow of traffic.

Paul Winje

WhitehorseSClB